Legal barriers prevent Quebecers from getting flu shots in doctors' offices
Published Wednesday, October 25, 2017 7:21PM EDT
Health officials wanted to allow doctors to sell and administer flu shots in their offices this fall, but Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said Wednesday that may not be possible.
Barrette told CTV he was notified late in the day that there are legal barriers to allowing doctors to sell vaccines.
"Inasmuch as I was expecting to be able to do that apparently there is a legal issue that might--and I will confirm that to you probably tomorrow--I might not be able to do that for this year," said Barrette.
In January, under pressure from the federal government, Quebec banned doctors from charging "accessory fees" for a variety of services including the storage, handling, and administering of vaccines.
As a result patients had to visit a doctor to get a prescription for a vaccine, purchase it at a pharmacy, then visit a CLSC to have the vaccine injected.
Barrette said earlier in October that the practice was unwieldy and impractical, and that the health ministry had been flooded with complaints from people who would rather pay a small fee to their doctor.